Monday, May 22, 2006

A Little Bit of Perspective

Sometimes things go so wrong that the world just closes up on you. You get so stuck in a place full of obligations and assholes, full of deadlines and dumbasses, full of bad breaks and workloads that you can't see anything beyond yourself. All you can think about is how bad you've got it, how hard it is for you. You're so tired, so burnt out, you can't think you can wake up the next day and face it all over again. Then something happens to make you realize that things just aren't so bad as they seem.

My partner teacher was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on Friday. She was in to work this morning, but left before first hour began. She packed up her stuff, preparing for the end of the year, talked to several people personally about what she was about to go through, and left. She most likely will not be back before the school year is over. There was this tremendously ominous feeling of...well, it's painful and difficult to say...those of you who are intuitive might know where I'm going with that thought, but I'll be damned if I'll write it down. A few people, well-meaning people, mentioned to me today how tough it would be for me these last days of school, dealing with two block classes, final exams, and such without Partner Teacher around. This is true. It will be a hassle. It will be a lot of extra work. But, Jesus, compared to what she's going through, what do I have to complain about? And that's what I told them.

Her prognosis is unclear at the present, but some news today gives all of us who care about her hope that she will recover quickly and well. It was certainly a hard and emotional day for me, but I guess today especially was a huge reminder that whining about how hard you have it is usually nothing but narcissistic bullshit, and, compared to people with real, serious problems, it's just bad form.


Magdalene said...

So sorry to hear the news about your partner teacher. Will keep her in my prayers.

Just wanted to say to you...I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer 7 years ago, and they told me I had two years to live. (Obviously they were wrong) but that's not the that most horrible time when I thought my days were numbered (of course, technically all of our days are numbered, but anyway...) I was blessed with clarity and peace about life, death, friends and family. I wish for the best with your friend and hope that you will take this time as a gift to show her your friendship and love. No doubt she will need and appreciate it.

In the mean time, you have my (continued) friendship as well, if you need any support...I am but an email away.

Huge hug from far away to you and those close to you.


Anonymous said...

My most compassionate thoughts are with her.


stinky said...

"some things go so wrong that the world just closes up on you"... this i understand... and maybe you're right... maybe its not so bad... but maybe you're wrong... maybe it is... who's to say... one man's mishap is another man's tragedy... some of us feel strong... some of us do not... some of us have the capability to become strong... some of us barely have the capability to pretend... but the point is... the point is... it doesn't matter... because yes sometimes "the world closes up on you" but if you hold on... if you wait it out... like a moonshade... the world will open back up... not necessarily because what has gone wrong decides to go right... but because something within us changes... we begin to grow... we begin to see things in a different light... and even if what has gone wrong gets worse... gets unbearable... is incorrectable... irreversible... is more ominous even than the worst we can imagine... the world opens back up... when we become stronger than ourselves... and we live through it anyway... or we die through it anyway... we make the necessary change that we believed ourselves incapable of making... and we are free... of all closing... and we open and we open and we open not just the world but ourseslves and we open and we open and we keep openning for all eternity...